Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


Hot Off the Bench Press – Tips to Blast Extra Calories, The Debate Between Diet vs. Exercise and More!

Healthy headlines you don’t want to miss!

12 Creative Ways to Burn More Calories – Health.com – From what time to workout to what (and when!) to eat, see 12 tricks of the trade that will help you make the most of your exercise

Best Workout for Your Body Type – Women’s Health – Tailor your workout and eating plan to your body type

Shave Off Shin Splints – The Beauty Bean – Tips to help reduce a common injury in runners

Diet vs. Exercise: Where to Start With a Complete Body Overhaul – ThatsFit – Which came first in body transformation, the diet or the exercise? James S. Fell (Body for Wife) weighs in

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My Workout With Celeb Trainer Gunnar Peterson

He’s responsible for making some of Hollywood’s sexiest celebs like J-Lo, Matthew McConaughey and Kim Kardashian hot and sweaty – and into red carpet ready shape! And for one steamy NYC morning I had him all to myself… well almost. As one of the lucky few who won an invitation to FITNESS magazine and Silk soy milk’s tweet-up workout with trainer Gunnar Peterson, I (and about 12 other fitness enthusiasts) was put through a 10-exercise workout with one of Hollywood’s most sought after trainers.

Gunnar’s philosophy is to create an exercise program that keeps your heart rate elevated, your body guessing and builds strength. So what did we learn? Well some of the moves can be viewed HERE but the 10-exercise workout program was designed for busy people who can’t spend hours training, but want to have the body that looks like they do! Best way to do that – incorporate total body moves like a plank/push up or my favorite, the advancing side lunge with wood chop, so that you can make the most out of limited time.

Looking for some moves to include in your workout routine? Try the dumbbell squat that goes into an upright row. Always remember proper form when squatting – keep your chest up and don’t lean over your knees. Imagine that there is a string attached at your chest bone and someone is tugging it up as you squat down. Incorporate other upper body moves into the exercise by switching out the upright row for a push press or lateral shoulder raise.

While celebs may fear Gunnar’s workouts (expect to sweat!) I see why they love him! His tongue-in-cheek personality shined during the Q&A session that followed the workout. One girl who is trying to shed a few pounds asked if she should hold off on strength training (and focus on cardio) until she drops the weight? Gunnar’s response, “I see a lot of fat people on the treadmill.” Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Completely! But for those looking to lose weight, the reason why Gunnar stresses that workouts must include resistance/strength training is that it builds lean tissue which is active, and active muscles burn calories faster.

So what does Gunnar keep in his workout toolbox – the rowing machine and stairs! Simple but effective workouts. I like to use the rowing machine on Monday nights when I get to the gym after work and it’s so packed that there is a wait for any cardio machine because more often than not, the row machine is open. Gunnar suggests mixing it up when rowing by including an overhead row or underhand grip.

His other favorite – stairs! He claims they are another underused component in an exercise program, especially considering you don’t even need a gym to use them … and I agree, check out the earlier post I wrote about stair climbing as a great budget workout! Keep your heart rate up and your body challenged by speed intervals, climbing two stairs at a time or even climbing climb sideways.

And his advice if you’re in the market to hire a trainer – the best workout program is one that keeps you challenged and makes you want to come back. Being pushed to the point you want to throw up, not being able to walk the next day or hating yourself and your trainer isn’t motivation to come back for another session.

The only piece of equipment we used during our morning workout with Gunnar was a set of light dumbbells (I used 8lbs.) and a yoga mat. So even if you can’t afford a gym or trainer, Gunnar proves you can still get a body like Hollywood’s hottest celebs!



GroupThink and Fitness Freshman

Last night a bunch of girl friends and I took a yoga class with yoga guru and all-around awesome person Tara Stiles at her Strala Yoga studio in the Flatiron district.

(If you’re an NYC yoga-lover I highly recommend taking a class with Tara. She is the resident expert and face of the Women’s Health Yoga Channel, the “Yoga Master” for Nissan’s Master the Shift program, model, and a Huffington Post blogger! Whew!)

While I had taken a class with Tara before and some of the other girls practice yoga regularly, this was three girl’s first yoga class ever!! That got me thinking – what should class newbies know?

The 5 Golden Rules for First Timers

1.    Know before you go!: Do your homework before stepping foot in the door – what class are you taking? Does the teacher have a bio listed? What equipment do you need to bring with you? Does the facility have a water fountain, etc.?

a.    Case Study A: Ride The Zone requires cycling shoes (which I don’t have) but can be rented for $3 … therefore bring cash!

b.    Case Study B: Crunch/NYSC has towels available for clients, the gym I went to in Florida, LA Fitness, does not … therefore bring your own!

2.    Arrive Early: This way you can talk to the instructor, set up any equipment (if needed) and get a spot with a clear view of the instructor. Plus it’s just plain rude to the instructor and other clients to walk into a class a minute before it begins and expect to get the individualized attention a first time needs.

a.    Case Study A: I went to a Sunday morning spin class and two minutes before class was supposed to begin a group of four spin class freshmen walk in. Class started five minutes late because the instructor had to help set up their bikes. I was not happy.

3.   Notify: Before class, let the teacher know this is your first time so he/she knows to be more informative and watch your form more carefully.

a.    Case Study A: First time trying yoga, the teacher should give you modifications for some of the more advanced movements.

b.    Case Study B: When I took one of my roommates along with me for her first spin class we had the instructor help set up her bike.

4.    Check Your Ego At The Door: Your first class is not the time to be an overachiever. Work on form and be patient. Being overzealous and overstretching your capacity will lead to injury.

a.    Case Study A: My first time in spinning class I wanted to prove I ride like a pro and increased the resistance/speed like the rest of the class. My legs hurt so much the next day I could barely walk.

b.    Case Study B: CrossFit newbie Peter (check out his awesome blog here) thought he had his form right with handstand pushups. He ended up with black eyes the next day from blood vessels popping.

5.    Ask Questions: This is for fitness freshmen and fitness aficionados alike, always ask if you’re  unsure of a movement. And as long as the class you’re taking doesn’t involve a meditative component, I think you should ask for information – what muscles does this movement make? Why is this a good exercise. Ask for correction and ask to be informed!

a.    Case Study A: I’ve been doing CrossFit on-and-off for just over a year and just this morning I was asking if my stance and grip was proper for my Sumo Deadlift High Pulls



The Ultimate Total Body Exercise – Join The Burpee Challenge

No matter how fit you think you are, allow the burpee to humble you in less than one minute.

Also affectionately known as the jumping squat thrust, the prison workout or just plain workout hell, this famously miserable exercise can be considered the ultimate total body exercise that serves both strength training and cardio purposes.

How to do you do a burpee? Check out this video for a great visual:

1.    Squat and jump back into a plank position
2.    Perform a pushup with your CHEST TOUCHING THE GROUND (besides being proper form, it’ll make your life easier)
3.    Jump to squat landing on your HEELS
4.    Jump up (and if you want, clap your hands over head to ensure your getting your hands up)

What are you working? Well everything! You are firing your legs with the squat, your using your triceps and shoulders with the pushup, your abdominal is engaged helping to stabilize your plank and I promise these will have your heart pumping and leave you breathless after just a few.

Best part about burpees (said with tongue-in-cheek since there are no “best” parts about burpees)? This exercise can be performed anywhere, doesn’t require equipment and uses your own body weight. So NO EXCUSES (burpee like a champ)!

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see the reemergence of burpee popularity; it incorporates a few of the predicted 2009 fitness trends – back to basics/primal, bootcamp and budget-friendly workouts – plus they are repeat offender in CrossFit WODs (workout of the day).

So fellow fitness fanatics I invite you to join my one-minute burpee challenge. I’ve engaged in a little friendly competition with a friend where for 5 days/week we will each perform as many burpee reps as possible in ONE minute. We record our daily numbers as well as a weekly average and winner gets street cred and bragging rights.

Think you can handle one minute of burpees? Join the challenge. Post your daily one-minute burpee totals in the comment section of the daily post and see how you measure up.



Hot Off the Bench Press – Make Your Workouts Work For You, A Dose Of Veggie Reality, Kim Kardashian Muscles Up and More!

Hot fitness news you don’t want to miss!

What’s the deal with interval training? – Loveandblueberries.com – Not seeing results? Rev up your workout by including intervals, here’s why!

A 3-in-1 exercise – Fittipdaily.com – Trim your workout time (and your upper body!) with this move that targets your biceps, shoulders and triceps.

The carrot train to crazytown –  Byersgetsdisel.com – Avoiding carrots because of their sugar count? Get some sense smacked into you by this witty blog from one fit chick!

The 10 fat loss mistakes you’re making at the gym – staleytraining.com – Make sure your workouts are working for you!

Sneak preview of Kim Kardashian’s Muscle and Fitness Her’s cover – Kim’s fitness transformation is inspiring especially since she keeps her curves!



Are You Intimidated by the Gym?

Last night I was at a wine tasting event with a bunch of my girlfriends and everyone seemed to be talking about three things – wine (duh!), summer beach house shares and FITNESS! It was my ideal night!

But a lot of the girls talked about being scared of the gym. Well, not scared, but timid to weight train because of the their lack of knowledge of exercises, proper form and how to set up and use the machine. And apparently this is a common fear: Check out this post from Fit Sugar about intimidating gym equipment.

Trust me, I understand how the weight and circuit room can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not only do you need to know which exercises target which muscles, but you need to understand form, proper settings and alignment (if you’re on a machine), how many repetitions, how heavy of weight etc.. But women of the world take control of your workouts!

First, understand that proper training incorporates cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training. And ‘unfamiliarity with’ is a lame excuse to ignore any of the components. While I would love to take all my friends to the gym and explain everything myself (I can’t help it, it’s the trainer in me), with everyone’s hectic schedules and different gym memberships, matters become a bit complicated. So what’s a girl to do – get educated!

No one is born with the knowledge of how to use the machines, everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe you can’t afford to hire a personal trainer these days, but if you’re unfamiliar with how to work a certain machine, ask the trainers for help. Catch them between sessions and ask them to explain an exercise or how to set up a machine. Use them as your resource.

Other options?  Watch others. This can be risky since not everyone knows what they are doing, but look at exercisers who seem competent, it will at least give you a starting point. Also, try to peak a glimpse at someone’s training session and try to emulate their position, posture and form on your own. Read up. There are plenty of weight training resources out there in both print and online. Just as you learn follow a recipe when you cook, follow instructions for equipment when you train. I see plenty of people (girls and guys!) bring books, manuals and logs to the gym. But remember safety first, when you’re first starting out, use lighter weights until you nail down the technique.

I’d love to know, are there machines that you shy away from? Or what have you done to overcome your fear?



Get Fit Without Breaking the Bank

A great resource for staying on shape while on a budget!

www.active.com/page/budget